Fresh from Elizabeth LaPointe’s Branford front yard to the middle of the New Haven green, the giant evergreen has completed its journey, but its life as a Christmas tree is just beginning.
They planted this more than 50 years ago in their front yard. LaPointe said it was a gift from a friend. They used to decorate it themselves for Christmas, but then it got too big. Way too big. It was an estimated 90 feet tall as it sat in their yard on School Ground Road.
They offered it to New Haven as a Christmas tree a couple years ago, but did not hear back. Then New Haven found itself in desperate need of a tree this year, so they came calling.
They tied up the branches, cut it down this morning then loaded it onto a flatbed trailer. Police shut down I-95 for about 20 minutes as the tree barely made it under some overpasses on the highway. Now it is on the green ready to be hoisted into place. Elizabeth LaPointe said she will definitely miss the tree.
“Oh yes I am, but last week I thought, it’s New Haven’s tree now, not mine. It’s bittersweet,” LaPointe said.
New Haven crews will spend the next 5 weeks wrapping 30,000 lights around every branch of that tree. That is why they have to put it up so early, that takes a long time.
The tree lighting is November 30th, that is one week after Thanksgiving. After three tree comes down in January, its wood will be used to make park benches, and in the spring, New Haven crews will grind down the stump in the Lapointe’s front yard and plant a new tree.
In the meantime, Elizabeth tells me she’s had to go buy shades, because for the first time in 50 years, there is light coming in her front windows.
Web Extra: Police escort of the tree from Branford to the New Haven Green.